August Movie Reviews

By on July 29, 2013

August brings astronauts in space, a sea of monsters, a little plane who’s afraid of heights, and a New York City underworld filled with vampires, demons and werewolves. Here’s a sneak peek at what’s new in theaters and on DVD and blu-ray this month.

By Jane Louise Boursaw 


PG-13 for sci-fi action and peril. In theaters 8/02. Ok for kids 14+.

Reel Preview: 4 of 5 Reels.

This sci-fi thriller follows a six-person crew of astronauts on a multi-year mission to visit Jupiter’s moon. Just as the trip starts to smooth out, one of the engineers is lost, and the remaining team members have no choice but to continue their search for life under the ice of Europa. Though this movie follows the plot of other space-centric sci-fi movies, it’s one of the most suspenseful and fascinating in recent years.



PG for fantasy action violence, some scary images and mild language. In theaters 8/07 (2D, 3D). Ok for kids 7+.

Reel Preview: 3.5 of 5 Reels.

This sequel to 2010’s “Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightning Thief” finds Logan Lerman reprising the title role. Based on Rick Riordan’s book “The Sea of Monsters,” Percy, accompanied by his friends Annabeth Chase, Clarisse La Rue and Tyson, his half brother, goes on a journey to the Sea of Monsters to retrieve the Golden Fleece and save Camp Half-Blood. Directed by Thor Freudenthal, this movie also stars Sean Bean, Stanley Tucci, Missi Pyle, Jake Abel, and “Buffy” alum Nathan Fillion and Anthony Head.



Not yet rated; likely PG. In theaters 8/09. Ok for kids 6+.

Reel Preview: 3.5 of 5 Reels.

This cute animated family movie from Walt Disney Studios (think “Cars,” only with planes) follows Dusty (voiced by Dane Cook), a cropdusting plane who dreams of competing in a famous aerial race. The problem? He’s afraid of heights. With the support of his mentor Skipper (Stacy Keach) and a host of new friends, Dusty sets off to make his dreams come true. Directed by Klay Hall (“Tinker Bell and the Lost Treasure”), this movie also features the voices of Val Kilmer, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Teri Hatcher, Brad Garrett and John Cleese.



Not yet rated; likely PG-13. In theaters 8/09. Ok for kids 14+.

Reel Preview: 4 of 5 Reels.

This sci-fi thriller is set in the year 2154, a time when the very wealthy live on a man-made space station while the rest of the population resides on a ruined Earth. Matt Damon plays Max De Costa, a man who takes on a mission that could bring equality to the polarized worlds.  While not rated at this writing, I’m guessing it’ll garner a PG-13 rating, although there’s a slim possibility it might be rated R, as it has the same feel as director Neill Blomkamp’s 2009 film “District 9,” which was rated R. Jodie Foster, William Fichtner, Charlto Copley and Alice Braga also star.



Rated PG. In theaters 8/15. Ok for kids 7+.

Reel Preview: 3 of 5 Reels.

Tom Walsh directs, writes and produces this animated movie about a family that inherits an old house. To their surprise, the home is filled with wonderful creatures that help to bring the family together. Voices include Melissa Leo, Maggie Wheeler, and Joey D. Vieira.


MOVthis-is-us-1THIS IS US

Not yet rated; likely PG. In theaters 8/30. Ok for kids 9+.

Reel Preview: 3.5 of 5 Reels.

Directed by documentary king Morgan Spurlock (“Super Size Me”) and produced by “The X Factor’s” Simon Cowell, this film offers an all-access look at life on the road for the boy band known as One Direction. Blending live concert footage and backstage goings on, we learn the remarkable story of Niall, Zayn, Liam, Harry and Louis’ meteoric rise to fame, from their humble hometown beginnings and competing on “The X-Factor,” to conquering the world and performing at London’s famed O2 Arena.


One Reel – Even the Force can’t save it.
Two Reels – Coulda been a contender.
Three Reels – Something to talk about.
Four Reels – You want the truth? Great flick!
Five Reels – Wow! The stuff dreams are made of.

JaneBJane Boursaw is founder and editor-in-chief of Reel Life With Jane, a family entertainment site specializing in movies, TV and celebrities. Visit her at or email

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